Huawei brought its nova 9 smartphone to Europe last month, bringing a new Watch GT3 and new TWS earphones called the Huawei Freebuds Lipstick next to it. The audio accessory comes with a striking new design that really looks like lipstick, and we got a couple to test if there is more to it than cool looks.
Cosmetics stores have hundreds of colors of lipstick, but Huawei only offers the headphones in one shade, which is somewhere between Rojo and Cornell (yes, those are true shades of red).
On the inside, the headphones are like Freebuds 4 – open ear design, a standard length of the stem, and even the battery capacity has remained the same – 30 mAh in each knob, 410 mAh more in the case. The difference here is the color and the unusual case.
The case consists of two parts – the bottom where is the battery, a magnet, the holes for the stems, while the top side is just a passive lid with an extra magnet to provide a tight seal. Left and right knobs have dedicated slots, but it’s extremely easy to get them confused if you do not look at the case while inserting them.
You also need to look to make sure you are adding the lid the right way – you need to actively seek out the visual trail, otherwise there is a 50% chance that you are putting the top the wrong way and it just will not slip all far down.
Like we said, the knobs themselves are familiar, and like Freebuds 4, they are a bit prone to slipping out of your ears during quick movements, but they are quite comfortable for prolonged listening sessions when you are sitting still.
A charge of the buds got us through 4 hours of listening without ANC. The same scenario with ANC lasts only 2.5 hours, but the knobs do not provide the best noise reduction (due to the smaller star seal), so we doubt that many will have ANC activated all the time.
The buds fill in about 30 minutes in the case, while the case itself needs 60 minutes. If all the power cells are drained, it takes about 80-90 minutes. We did the test with a proprietary Huawei charging cable, but any 5V / 1A charger could handle the task. However, Freebuds Lipstick does not support wireless charging.
Like the regular Freebuds 4, the Huawei Freebuds Lipstick can be connected via Bluetooth to virtually any device, but needs the Huawei AI Life app to unlock the full functionality.
The app allows you to customize what a single tap, double tap and tap and hold do, as well as volume control, noise reduction and find the knobs if they are gone.
No surprises in sound performance either – the 14mm dynamic driver. The headphones delivered well-defined sound in all cases without artificially boosting the bass. They could be higher, but overall, the balanced output will please most.
Which means the Huawei Freebuds Lipstick is essentially the same pair of TWS headphones as the Freebuds 4, which are currently available for around half the price of the € 229 lipstick. That alone means the new couple will not be a favorite among the audiophile public.
But those who appreciate its very plausible lipstick impression would certainly consider spending the extra on what is a distinctly unique accessory and a conversation starter. With the timing of the launch, we have no doubt that Freebud’s lipstick will also end up under a bunch of Christmas trees.
And by knowing Huawei’s track record, the upcoming holiday season will see the unique TWS earphones appear in a variety of bundles and promotions that will make them a significantly better deal.